Monday, June 18, 2018

June 18 – “A Divine Chuckle”

Here’s a fun anecdote from The Church front.  Last Sunday we got word that one of our regulars, who happened to be in San Antonio for the weekend, was in the hospital there for treatment of kidney stones.  Bob has had that issue several times before, so as his Body of Christ we lifted him up in prayer last week.  Just the Church being the Church, right?  So far so good.

This week Bob was back, and he had a story to tell.  Seems it was not him who was having the issues with kidney stones.  Instead it was his 20-year-old grandson, who was also recovering from a major surgery on his arm.  Yikes.  So here are the questions we faced this week …

Did we need to ask God to ignore last week’s intercessions, kind of “Oops, never mind”?  In other words, were all those prayers last week wasted?  Bob doesn’t think so.  He’ll take every prayer he can get, and I’m sure with him on that one.  In the proverbial words of the playground, “No take-backs.”

Did we need to maybe ask God to put those last prayers on a celestial transfer list like switching money between accounts at the bank?  Take them off of Bob’s ledger and reapply them to Seth’s?  I don’t know.  Somehow treating the ear of God like a bank ledger just doesn’t seem quite right.

Neither of those options felt exactly right.  Honestly, I think we would be better served taking the approach we finally decided upon.  And what would that be? 
Joining God and Bob (and maybe even Seth when he feels a little better) in a little divine chuckle about the whole thing, and moving on to the next “person of interest,” the next point of intercession that opens up to us.  Keep those prayers coming.

Psalms 69:34 says, “Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them”

Father, be with Seth and Bob as they deal with their kidney stone issues.  And thanks for laughing with us yesterday.  Amen.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

June 17 – “2 feet by 2 feet”

I officiated another wedding on the beach yesterday.  As usual, there were more than a few things that didn’t go exactly as planned, but then I usually plan for that. 

This one was held on the beach at Jamaica Beach.  At 11 a.m.  On a Saturday.  In June.  To say that the beach was crowded would be an understatement of epic proportions.  They had arrived early that morning, however, and a very nice little arch was set up and anchored to the sand with two large sandbags.  There were groups of people crowded as close as they could get one either side.  Cars were parked and driving all around.  Golf carts were puttering through the area as well.  Each of them had someone either taking pictures of the cute beach wedding or ogling at the craziness of it all or sighing in winsome anticipation of just such an event in their own future. 

But the winner of the most unusual award for this particular wedding has to go to the lady acting as coordinator.  She set up a small, 2 foot by 2 foot table next to the archway.  And on that tiny table, in no particular order, were …
A bouquet for the bride to toss after the ceremony (which, by the way was caught by the wind cand blown through the traffic lane and almost into a parked car window).
A homemade wedding cake, made by the coordinator (How do I know she made it?  Because the icing was melting in the heat and humidity and she screamed at one point, “My flower!  My flower is melting!”)
A set of three beautiful unity candles (Not useful at the beach because the wind refuses to allow open flames of such a tiny nature)
Sand ceremony jars (Not to be deterred, she also provided jars of three different colors of sand and an empty, hand decorated wine bottle to pour the sand into)
Champagne cups and a tiny little bottle of sparkling, fizzy apple juice (For the bride and groom to toast each other and share a drink with arms interlocked)
Some decorative flowers (Can’t have a boring table that close to the archway)
Plastic forks and paper plates (Remember the cake?)
A large knife to cut the cake (One of those cake server things.  The bride and groom got fussed at though.  They didn’t follow proper procedure.  They didn’t squash the cake into each other’s faces.  Wonder if the fact that they had less than an hour to get to their cruise ship had anything to do with that decision?)
Napkins (Messy, messy, messy)
After the wedding the bride’s bouquet was added to the mix, as were several bottles of water and pieces of cake.  (2 Feet by 2 feet.  I think maybe that table belonged to Mary Poppins at one time).

Oh, and I almost forgot.  There was also a set of seashells.  Cool looking, but their purpose remained a mystery … until the wedding was in full swing.  I called for the rings at the appropriate moment.  The coordinator, who was now also the maid of honor, leapt into action.  She raced over to her little table, grabbed her purse which was now also there, pulled her phone case out, opened it, and, though she struggled a bit, finally managed to pull out from it … two rings.  She hastily placed the rings into the aforementioned seashell decoration and raced the concoction over to the groom.  He took it from her and handed it to the best man.  The best man then held it up for the groom to pick up one of the rings.  Now here’s the thing.  The groom already had a ring in his hand.  He had the engagement ring in his pocket, and was just going to use that.  Now he had to try to figure out what to do with the wedding band as well.  He crammed them both onto her finger in no particular order.  Figured that was easy enough to sort out later.  The bride then took his ring from the shell contraption and the wedding continued.  Reception was held right there on the beach.  All who wanted one got a piece of the melting cake and a bottle of water.  Photos all around.

We got ‘em hitched.  As far as I know they made their cruise departure time.  Their license is in the mail to their county clerk.  Congrats to the happy couple.

Psalms 69:30 says, “I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”

Father, walk with those two on their journey together.  Amen

Saturday, June 16, 2018

June 16 – “Knee-d anything?”

I finally went to the doc about my sore knee.  Didn’t get to see my doctor, of course.  In fact the one I saw was a D.O.  Why is that a deal?  Well, for one thing, I specifically asked when I made the appointment and was told she was an M.D.  Get to know your staff, front desk.  And speaking of the front desk, I questioned their apparent listing of one of my medications twice, and one of them simply scratched a med off the list.  I later began to ponder the differences and realized the reason behind the two listings – a change the doc had made in the frequency of doses.  Got that one straightened out with the doctor. 

The appointment was about what I expected.  Get an X-ray or three and then probably go do some physical therapy and come back in six week if it’s no better.  Right on point there with my anticipations.  We drove straight over to the radiology clinic to get that taken care of.  Quick in and out.  Very efficient.

And then that night I got the email that my results were available on line.  Ready to see them with me?
Imaging of the knee demonstrates moderate medial compartment joint space loss with tricompartmental subchondral sclerosis and marginal osteophyte formation.  A small sized effusion is present.  Posterior intracapsular osseous bodies are present.  Chronic tibial tuberosity enthesophyte fragmentation is seen.  Degenerative tibial spine hypertrophy is present.

So how many of the words did you know?  Here’s what I got out of it …
Imaging of the knee demonstrates moderate blah, blah, blah joint space loss with blah, blah, blah and blah, blah, blah formation.  A small sized blah, blah is present.  Blah, blah, blah bodies are present.  Chronic blah, blah, blah is seen.  Degenerative blah, blah, blah is present.

Great.  So what does it all mean?  Chris and I spent about an hour looking up words and phrases.  I think I have it boiled down to this … “Your knee probably hurts because you are old.”  Yes, it does.  I suppose I am.  Now I have to wait for the doc to call and tell me that, so I can then go to the physical therapist so they can tell me that.  So … here we go …

Psalms 69:13 says, “But I pray to you, O Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation.”

Father, thank you for my knee.  I’ve been pretty attached to it for a long time.  Help me take care of it.  Amen.

Friday, June 15, 2018

June 15 – “Dream of the century”

How’s this for a dream of the century candidate?  How about dream of the decade?  Would you believe, dream of last night?

The Astros were ahead 10-0 at the end of the second inning in California, so I went on to bed at 10 p.m.  Later that night I had a dream.  In my dream, I woke up (I know … weird number one, right?  And never a good thing to dream about.  You end up really tired from lack of sleep) and checked the app on my phone where I follow the play by play action when I can’t get to a television (MLB At Bat).  It informed me that the Astros had been overtaken by the A’s and were losing 13-12.  What?  How could that be?  The World Champs can’t blow a ten run lead. 

Suddenly I was jolted by a sound.  A familiar sound.  Distant at first, but then … Yep.  It was the actual app on my real phone alerting me that something had happened in the Astros game.  Groggily, I glanced at the clock.  Nearly midnight.  But now I couldn’t just let it pass.  I had to check and see how the ‘Stros could possibly have lost a 10 run lead.  And more importantly, how could I already know about it?  Cautiously I picked up my phone.  Sure enough the game report was showing.  But wait.  The score was not 13-12.  Not even 10-0.  But the Astros were still well out in front.  11-3 as I recall.  I watched a little more closely for a while, since I couldn’t get right back to sleep.  Didn’t want them to lose any more ground because of my lack of presence.  Finally, the young pitcher they just called up from the minors struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth.  Game over.  Final score 13-5.  At least it was the final if I was really awake …

Psalms 68:34 says, “Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies.”

Father, dreams can be really fun things.  But I suppose you know all about that, since you … well, created them … and have used them to communicate for years.  But thanks for the just-for-fun ones, too.  Amen.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 14 – “It’s gone”

I finally had some time yesterday to deal with the truck and its dead battery.  I jumped it using our new car.  It was the first time I had opened the hood on the car.  And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a plastic case cover over the positive side of the battery was open.  All looked fine, though, so I closed it up until I got the car into position and needed the juice.  It was pretty easy to access the battery, by the way.  Glad to hear that. 

Once the cables were all hooked up, the truck followed suit and started right up as well.  So I obediently let it run for a while.  All looked well, so I shut everything down and headed back inside.  And before I could get to the front door, I got a call to meet the AC guy at the church.  I let Chris know where I was headed, washed my hands and returned to the truck.  And the truck … wouldn’t start.  Dead as a doornail.  It’s gone.  I took the car for my meeting at the church, and later took the battery in to WalMart.  Still dead.  Didn’t even register on his meter.  We got a brand new battery for free.  But the guy was quick to inform me that the warranty on the new one just picks up where the other one left off.  That’s how they get you.  This one’s free but you will pay full price next time.  And the truck?  So far so good.  Needs some gas. 

OK, back to the AC guy for a moment.  The brand new compressor unit appeared to be on the fritz this past Sunday.  It just wasn’t doing the job.  We arrived around 8:30 and the temperature in the building was 78.  We set the AC to 71 and went about getting ready.  By 10 it had only cooled down to 75.  And by the time we left at 12:30, the temp was up to 79.  Not good at all.  It’s gone.  The guy did all his checks and now it seems we need a new pressure regulator valve.  Not part of the compressor, of course.  He ordered it, and assured me that they would try to get it installed before Friday.  Right.  It may be another warm day in Paradise.

Psalms 68:32-33 says, “Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord,
Selah to him who rides the ancient skies above, who thunders with mighty voice.”

Father, thank you for always being there for us when annoying things around us seem to scream … it’s gone.  Amen

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13 – “The struggle”

I forced myself to get up really early yesterday.  I had agreed to struggle through the difficult task of taking our out of town friends … fishing.  Never an easy thing, but someone has to do it. 

We met up at the church since they were staying near Jamaica Beach.  I guess they had stayed up too late the night before chasing crabs around on the beach, because they were late.  I texted them to let them know I was waiting, and they were there in minutes.  Sadly, we couldn’t do any wade fishing.  The Gulf waters were raging, and the red flags were out warning of some pretty treacherous currents.  So we headed over to the little park on a Jamaica Beach main canal and settled in.  My first cast I caught a little sand trout.  Second one I caught a nice spec.  From that point on we fed the piggies.  Even used up most of the bucket full of shad a neighboring fisherman gave us when he left for the day.  Oh, Rachel did catch a spec and a croaker, so she managed to soundly defeat Corbin in the newlywed fishing tournament.  He reeled in his share of piggies, though.  Nice job, Corbin.  I’ll let your Dad know how well you did when he comes down next week. 

Our “official” catching up continued last night.  Corbin and Rachel came over for dinner.  Chris regaled them with a big pot of shrimp gumbo.  It also had stuff in it like chicken and crab and sausage, but in my mind, if there are shrimp in there, it’s shrimp gumbo.  Good stuff.  We did forget to pick up okra at the store though, so those tiny little slimy tidbits were missing.  But still, good stuff.  She also sautéed the specs we caught that morning.  Can’t beat that, either.

Good meal.  Good friends.  And the Astros even won out in California.  Good day.

Psalms 68:19 says, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”

Father, thank you for this chance we have had to get to know Rachel.  Bless the two of them in their marriage.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

June 12 – “The offspring”

We were invited out to dinner last night.  The son of some our oldest friends was in town with his new bride.  They wanted to get together and catch up some since we had to miss their wedding back in December.  They took us out to eat at Nate’s out by the church.  Come to find out, it was about a five minutes’ walk from the condo they have rented. 

On our way out there we passed by the Jamaica Beach fire station.  There in front was Lauren from church, so I waved, thinking she probably didn’t recognize us.  She did wave back, though.  Chris commented that “she’ll probably be calling you to see where we were going.”  And five minutes later I got a text …”What are y’all doing out here?  I waved.” 

It was great to hang out with Corbin and Rachel.  We heard about a lot of nursing stuff.  The two of them and Chris are all nurses.  I entertained myself quietly.  We did talk about each other’s histories as well.  It’s amazing how much info you can gather about each other over a good seafood dinner. 

So … catching up done.  Now it’s time to take them fishing.  Like … now …

Psalms 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”

Father thanks for friends who produce kids who become friends.  Amen.